Thesis Title

Fecal Coliform as an Indicator of Water Quality and Recreational Carrying Capacity At Ozark National Scenic Riverways

Date of Graduation

Spring 1986


Master of Science in Geospatial Sciences


Geography, Geology, and Planning

Committee Chair

David Castillon

Subject Categories

Earth Sciences


Visitor impacts on the Ozark National Scenic Riverways (ONSR) has been a continuing concern of the park management. Preliminary studies from 1980 indicated a postive relationship between levels of canoe use and fecal coliform densities. Water quality data were collected at seven locations on the Current and Jacks Fork Rivers during the summer of 1985. Water quality tests performed were dissolved oxygen, conductivity, nitrates, pH, temperature, fecal coliform and fecal streptococcus. Fecal coliform data were correlated to four variables: canoe and innertube use, back country and gravel bar campers, horseback riders, and precipitation. The strongest correlation was between precipitation and fecal coliform levels. No significant relationship was found between canoe use or campers and fecal coliform densities. Mean coliform levels for each sampling location were compared. The highest levels were found on the lower Jacks Fork. Known sources of the fecal contamination in this area were the Eminence Trail Rides, livestock, and the Eminence sewage lagoon. Sources of fecal contamination brought into the rivers by runoff is difficult to determine without further study of the watershed.


© Gail Estelle Emrie